Following a physical confrontation in a bar in July 2010, Niki Hochstetler was found guilty of Battery, a Class C Felony; and Battery as a Class A misdemeanor after allegedly stabbing Eric Amore at the Country Roads Bar and Grill in Walkerton last July. The two charges were merged with a recommended sentence of four years in the Department of Corrections.
Hochstetler received her sentence Thursday in the Starke Circuit Court. Judge Kim Hall said he felt her aggravating factors and mitigating factors were of equal weight, but her attitude, the fact that she has the support of her family, and her good standing with the home detention program worked in her favor.
Hall sentenced Hochstetler to two years to be served in the Department of Corrections, with two years of probation following her release. She is also required to complete a batterer’s intervention program following her release to probation, and she was credited for the 60 days she has spent in jail. With good behavior, and considering her 60 days credit, Hochstetler is expected to be released in ten months.
When Hall mentioned her mitigating and aggravating factors, he said that her only mitigating factor was that the victim, Amore, refused emergency medical treatment, and instead, returned to the bar.
“That, to me, says a great deal about the entire event,” said Hall. “Had the victim been treated, or taken to the hospital, airlifted, or even died, you’d be looking at a very different set of circumstances.”